On Saturday, China sent a new record-setting 39 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) just one day after the last record-setting Chinese military sortie around Taiwan.
The latest record-setting infiltration of Taiwan’s ADIZ included 36 fighter jets, two antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft and an airborne early warning and control aircraft.
China sent its aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ in two waves; the first with 20 military aircraft and the second with the remaining 19 aircraft.
The first wave included 18 J-16 and Su-30 fighter jets and two Y-8 ASW aircraft.
“20 PLA aircraft (J-16*14, SU-30*4 and Y-8 ASW*2) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on October 2, 2021. Please check our official website for more information,” tweeted the Ministry of National Defense for the Republic of China, the formal name of the Taiwanese government.
The Taiwanese military reportedly issued radar warnings, activated missile defense systems and deployed aircraft to respond to the initial aerial incursion.
The second wave of Chinese warplanes included 18 more J-16 and Su-30 fighter jets and a KJ-500 AEW&C aircraft.
“19 PLA aircraft (J-16*12, SU-30*6 and KJ-500 AEW&C) entered #Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ on the night of October 2, 2021. Please check our official website for more information,” the Taiwanese defense ministry said in a second tweet.
The Taiwanese military said it again issued radar warnings, activated missile defense systems and deployed aircraft to respond to the initial aerial incursion.
On Friday, China flew 38 military aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ. In total, 77 Chinese military aircraft have entered Taiwan’s ADIZ in just two days.
The previous record-high number of Chinese military aircraft flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) was 28. The record high before that came in April when 25 PLA aircraft entered the Taiwanese ADIZ. During that previous record-setting Chinese military flight, Chinese warplanes were also observed flying what looked like practice runs of strikes on U.S. warships operating in the region near the Philippines. In March, China sent 20 military aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ.
While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, China claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
The months of near-constant Chinese military flights around Taiwan are part of apparent effort to exhaust Taiwan’s smaller air force.
In February, President Joe Biden’s administration vowed to deepen ties with Taiwan in the face of continued Chinese operations around the island.
“We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Indo-Pacific region — and that includes deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
In August, Biden approved his first transfer of U.S. weapons to Taiwan — 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer artillery systems.